Wife Jan is now on the Noom program and I am trying to adapt my cooking to her needs. I have discovered that all of the recipes in the Noom app come directly from Prevention. While Noom has only been around since 2013, Prevention magazine—which was started in the 1950’s—was a major resource for Jan when she was doing research on holistic health in the 1980. Jan went through the Noom app’s recipes and wrote down the names of several that she wanted me to try making.
Note: If anyone is interested in my wife’s first book Health in the New Age we still have a few copies available.
One of the recipes Jan listed was Gingery Vegetable Broth with Tofu and Noodles. I found several things in their recipe that did not suit my family—Daughter Eilene doesn’t like mushrooms, Jan doesn’t like soba noodles, and I am of not fond of a lot of cooked chunks of carrot in my soup. I had some left over Shanghai bok choi and snow peas left over from previous dishes I had made—so that was one problem solved. I went to the store to get some tofu for the recipe and while I was there they had lobster on sale—Jan really loves lobster and it is almost Mother’s Day—so I could not pass it up. In the soup aisle, I changed my mind about getting the vegetable broth and decided that a miso soup would be a better choice for a gingery soup.
After Dinner Note: Mother and daughter both loved this soup and discussed who would get to eat the leftovers.
Karl’s Lobster and Tofu Gingery Miso Soup
2 lobster tails (4 oz. each)
2 tsp. sesame oil, separate uses
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced pole to pole
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
32 oz. miso broth
16 oz. firm tofu, cut into half inch dice
3-5 oz. udon noodles
½ lb. baby Shanghai bok choi
¼ lb. snow peas
Pinch white pepper
1. Remove the meat from the shells and break up the shells into pieces.
Tip: Cut the meat into small bite sized pieces and set it aside.
Note: Whenever I have shrimp or lobster shells, I make a quick broth with them.
2. Heat one teaspoon of sesame oil in a medium pot and add the lobster shells.
3. Cook the shells, stirring, until they are bright pink.
4. Add one half cup of water and simmer the shells for 3-4 minutes.
5. Strain the broth into a small bowl and discard the shells.
Tip: Without cleaning the pot, fill the pot three quarters full with water and set it over a medium heat.
Note: You will be using this pot later to boil your noodles.
Hint: Jan does not like me to just throw starchy things—like rice or noodles—directly into soups. When these starches are in the soup it is hard to control their portion size while you are spooning it into your bowl. By serving the rice or noodles on the side, you can add as much or as little starch as you like and then top it with the broth and vegetables.
6. Add the rest of the sesame oil to a large soup pot and sauté the onions, over a medium high heat, until just starting to pick up some color.
7. Add the garlic and cook it for one minute, until fragrant.
8. Add the lobster broth, ginger, and miso soup to the pot.
9. This is a good time to turn the heat up on the first pot and to start boiling your noodles.
10. Simmer the broth for 4-5 minutes and then add the bok choi and snow peas.
Tip: There are several ways to cut up bok choi for soup. You can cut the stalks into 1-1 ½ inch pieces and shred the leaves. However if I have small bok choi, I prefer to pull off the outer leaves—to use whole—until I am down to a small core, which I then cut in half top to bottom.
Note: In Asian markets you will have a choice of buying baby bok choi—2-4 inches in length with white stalks and crinkly leaves—or Shanhai bok choi—3-7 inches in length with pale green stalks and broad smooth leaves. The mature white bok choi that you find in Western markets—huge white stalks 12-18 inches in length—you will almost never find in an Asian market. The stems mature bok choi are flavorless, watery, and turn slimy when even slightly overcooked. The leaves also have a strong bitter metallic taste—not favored by Asians.
11. Simmer the vegetables for 3-4 minutes, until almost cooked through and then add the lobster and white pepper.
Tip: Do not add the lobster to the soup until the noodles are al dente. The lobster cooks very quickly and if overcooked becomes rubbery.
12. Simmer the soup for a final two minutes and then serve immediately with the noodles on the side.
Tip: Drain the noodles right after you have added the lobster to the soup, so that it is still warm when the soup is ready.